Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017, Paolo Pasco


This was a fun Friday puzzle. Some of it came quite easily to me - IMEANTOSAY (54A: "That is ..."), BATCAVE (32A: Subterranean hideout in comics), and BOLTS (43D: Parts of a Frankenstein costume), for example, and some came quite slowly - BARRELRACE (50A: Rodeo event), TOTALINCOME (4D: Line on a 1040), and SUBTWEET (34D: Social media post that refers to another user without directly mentioning that person). I was not familiar with that phrase (or action), but that's one reason I like these Gen. Z constructors - they teach us Gen. Xers things like this. Now all I have to do is log into the Twitters and get practicing on my subtweets... are they good or bad? Frowned upon or craved? I need more information!

Not 11-D

How about that great misdirection with the three-letter names?! Raise your mitt if you dropped in ORR at "37A: Sportsman whose #4 was retired" and then when you finished the NE and saw ORR at "11D: Alexander ____, pioneer and early head of New York's subway system," said to yourself, "Too many ORRs." Alexander Orr is pretty obscure, but I applaud the find. Of the 364 uses of ORR in a NYTX, this is the first time it has appeared with that clue. (Thanks!)

And another thing, I think I must have seen QUAALUDE spelled out before, but I don't think I'll ever get used to those two As. Luckily, DIAZ (31D: Cameron of Hollywood) and CATALAN (29D: Language banned under Franco's dictatorship) (grrrrr...) were knowable.

Lots of good stuff. I liked the clue for ACREAGE (7D: Figure that can describe a lot), and I especially liked THEELEMENTS clued with the single word "Weather."

1A: "Get outta here!" (SCAT) - B
Best: FACT (17A: Truth we hold to be self-evident?) I'm glad somebody's still willing to say it. But - oh! - there's a question mark! What the...?
Worst: STRATI (19A: Some low clouds) I put it right in, but I wish I hadn't had to. But overall, there's not much glue here, and what there is, I'll accept for the rest.

I only know MAME through the Rosalind Russell movie, which does not (I'm fairly certain) include that number. And is there duplication in ESCAPEROOM and PUZZLEBOX? Heh.

Thumbs up!

- Horace


  1. 16:53

    I agree with Horace that some answers went right in, helping me along to one of my better Friday times. JEANSHORTS and DERNIERCRI went right in, breaking open the north east. And coincidentally, I had been talking about Nelson ALGREN at work not two hours before I looked at the puzzle. Quelle coincidence, non? And to be clear, MAME is not the same as Auntie Mame.

  2. 13:28
    Excellent puzzle. Cece and I did it together. I loved the clue for ACREAGE. Also, for us sports types, how is it possible that Denver has not only the ROCKIE(s), but also the Nuggets and the Broncos?! All 6 letters. Damn you, Pasco!

  3. 33:43
    Took me longer than others. SCAT should have been clued differently, perhaps with an anagram of POPO, a term with which I'm unfamiliar. I loved the clue for SPFS (1D 15, 30 and 50 are common ones, in brief), as well as all of the Zs there in the middle (BUZZ/PUZZLEBOX/BAEZ). Fun Friday. I've never heard of a SUBTWEET either, nor have I ever been on Twitter.

  4. 47:13
    Yikes I really got hung up on this one, despite a fast start. I had LALALA for 8D and even after fixing that to NANANA just took forever to get that NE section worked out. If only Frances were here to help me write those answers straight in...

    Nice observation on 37A (OTT vs. ORR). I find that Paolo often finds these little twists of misdirection that can be quite diabolical. For example, he knew full well that I (like Mr. Amory) would have both BRONCO and NUGGET for 12D (Mile-high player) before finally striking upon ROCKIE.

    Congrats to everyone for crushing me today. If this were an ACPT puzzle, I would have surely run out of time!